Get Creative + Find Yourself

This is the 4th week in a row that I've written everyday. This is good. I can't seem to keep it down - reminds me of the old days when I used to lock myself in my room, sit on the floor, blast NIN and write dark poetry. 

I used to love to write poetry. I'd always be shocked at how it just flowed and felt so good. 

There's something incredbly magical about being an artist. When I started to realize I was one I started noticing that I had a deep need to constantly express myself. 

Why that was, I had no idea but art, drawing, music, poetry, fashion, design, anything that was creative - I was into it. 

That was 20 years ago. I stopped creating art once I was refused from art school. It broke my heart into pieces - what was life without art? It was like telling me I couldn't breathe anymore. I felt numb. 

Around the same time I started getting into the rave scene (naturally. with a lack of ability to manage stress and self-soothe, I turned to drugs to manage my pain in life).

It was '97-'98 and the scene was hot. The music, the mystery of not knowing what warehouse we were going to until the night of, the drugs, the sneaking around behind my parents' backs...all made me feel something again. 

I found a life without art. 

Fast-forward 15 years or so to a conversation I was having with a teacher of mine at nutrition school. Her name was Caroline and she was an intuitive healer. I had hired her to help me figure out what was making life so damn hard for me. 

Life without art - life with self-judgement and perfectionism - life with heavy drug and alcohol use - left me broken. 

I was sick, very sick. I could barely make it through a night in class without having to rest my head and 'check out'. 

I'd lay on the couch all day, cancel clients, binge watch TV in a depressive state, ruminate, worry and was all-around a major fucking bummer. 

I hired Caroline because I was wanting to understand what I was doing energetically that was contributing to my chronic depression and gut health issues.

As much as I believe in food and nutraceuticals to aid in healing the body, I also know that our mindset and energetic state greatly contribute to our health experience in life. 

Caroline and I went into meditation and with her guidance I was able to connect with things I had never before. 

I knew nothing of chakras and colours etc., yet when she asked me to connect with my solar plexus and notice what came up I instantly saw my childhood home's dining room. 

It had 3 walls in the dining room that were all windows and the view looked out to dense forest. In my meditation, thick rays of yellow sunlight beamed into our room and I saw giant sunflowers reaching for the sky basking in the sunlight. 

There weren't sunflowers there in real life yet I came to learn later on that the chakra colour of the solar plexus is yellow. 

It may sound minute but to me it was confirmation that I was connecting to something true. 

Caroline's message was simple, which truly to this day, I appreciate. 

She said this:

"You are an artist Cassandra. Why aren't you creating art?"

I so didn't expect to hear that. 

I hadn't called myself an artist in almost 20 years. I hadn't picked up a crayon, pencil, paintbrush, pen or design magazine in almost 20 YEARS!

She was connecting with a deep, deep part of me. I was instantly terrified. 

How was I to create art when I hated everything I did and I hated everything I said, questioned every decision, relationship, voice in my head, action I made...there wasn't one thing that came from me that I felt good about.

I was broken. 

In hindsight, she could have coached me and dug deep into the topics of perfectionism, depression and a lack of conviction, all things I was deeply struggling with and were contributing to my gut health issues, chronic fatigue and anxiety/depression. 

Instead, she chose a different route. One that I find to be more loving, and truly, it stuck with me and has been a sentence I've repeated in my head and heart many times since that day several years ago. 

I'd repeat it over and over wondering how the fuck am I going to be an artist again? I had zero clue what that looked like. Zero. 

Out of desperation I'd grab pencil crayons and a artist's pad and try and colour shit. I hated everything. I'd look at it and think to myself "this is so incredibly juvenile. Look at how shit this is. Of course you got denied from art school, you have no talent."

Could you imagine someone speaking to you that way? A friend, a parent, a teacher?

Why is it ok for us to speak to ourselves that way but others can't? And how aware are we that we do speak to ourselves that way when we do? 

The way I was judging my art was a symptom of a bigger problem. My mind was sick. It was untrained, inflamed due to an undiagnosed brain injury and chronic infections in my gut. I had a lot of work to do and the ultimate goal? ...

To heal by physical body yes - but more importantly, to find conviction, self-love, self-empathy and self-trust. 

I had to learn to not only love myself to heal my body, I also had to learn how to actually like myself, too. 

That shift in mindset can be, and was, the difference between being a victim and an empowered woman. 

If you've been following my recent blogs and social media for the past 6 months you may have noticed an increase in dialogue around self-empowerment, art and being our authentic selves. 

This change in dialogue is the result of me finally, after several years of Caroline's voice playing in the back of my mind, finding my conviction.

What was the big bang that catapulted me into this state of authenticity? Being controlled and emotionally abused by my ex. 

Buddhists believe that your enemy can be your greatest teacher. My choosing past-relationships from the same mental place where I was also judging my art meant that I was attracting more sickness.

Like attracts like and the lust that I was believing to be true love eventually became my enemy - and my greatest teacher.

I will never allow someone to make me feel less-than again. 

I will never let someone control the way I dress

The way I speak 

What music I listen to

How I eat

How I chill

How I express myself 

I will never allow someone to control my experience ever again.

Instead, the past 6 months have been all about me getting really connected to and clear on what and who I am. 

I've learned this: 

I am a wildly creative soul who has so much passion, vision and capability in me I can barely contain it. 

I love all forms of art and I want it in my life, daily. 

I want music, writing, design, fashion, recipe creations and cooking, the language I use, content creation for my business and sexual self-expression to all be in my life, in my heart and from soul, every damn day. 

The pain from my string of painful and bad decisions in terms of relationships were seeds. They sprouted and offered me fruit - rich, juicy, beautiful pieces of soulful and fleshy fruit all for me pick, bite into and absorb on the regular. 

The road to finding my creativity again has been one of the most painful experiences of my life. The feelings of judging what wants to come from the deepest part of my being is the worst kind of abusive relationship; I was abusing and neglecting myself. 

I look around at society and wonder how many of us are living authentic lives? I know for sure that I wouldn't have chosen to express myself the way I do now just 1 year ago. 

It began with me getting my septum re-pierced. Then getting my palm tattoos. Then more tattoos, then going back to day parties and dancing for hours to techno. 

What other successful female nutritionists are out there swearing (some believe swearing is a sign of lack of intelligence - I ask them to keep that opinion to themselves), talking about all this crazy shit, dancing their little heart out in a scene notorious for drug and alcohol abuse (remember, I'm health coach lol) all while covered in tattoos and a very evident face piercing? 

Not many (though link me on Instagram if you know of any, I'd love to be friends!). 

It's been scary sometimes and I know I'm often judged. I'm sure people think it's unnecessary for me to express myself the way I do and maybe even think it's juvenile and potentially unprofessional. 

That's ok. Those people aren't for me. They aren't my tribe. It's not my job to please others and hustle for their approval. 

It IS my job to live my most authentic life. One where I speak, create and show up for myself with zero apology for what that looks like. 

I question sometimes if my creativity is actually insanity. Of course I do! Creativity can and should be risky! It should be different, sometimes should evoke an emotional response and get people thinking...invite them to tap into a place in their soul that may have otherwise stayed dormant. 

But I know that when I do question my creativity that that's an old pattern of perfectionism and a fear-based mentality that's popping in to test me. 

I lovingly remind myself that I am an artist. This is my art. My freedom and the creative expression that comes from my soul isn't insanity.

Rather, it's my power. 

You who is reading this - if you even for a second question if there's more to your life than just following the unspoken societal rules that are placed upon you, simmer right there. 

Question it. Again and again, and when answers come, trust them. 

They are your teachers. They are your guides to healing and letting go of a mindset that may no longer serve you. 

Growth, health and healing are at our fingertips and creativity may just the pen. 

It's Saturday. I take weekends off to completely unwind, just be and tap into creativity. I saw an incredible female techno DJ last night at Coda, while sippin' on green tea and water. Today I'm baking keto recipes and writing more chapters in my upcoming tell-all book on lust and drug addiction. 

I look forward to these creative outlets more than anything. It's the same feeling as running home to a new love who I just can't wait to get my hands on. It's like having my best friend inside me. 

I have found life again, with art. 

Be well with hope,
Cassandra Hope

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